4 November 2008 Tuesday of the 31st Week in Ordinary Time
Phil 2, 5-11; Psalm 22; Luke 14, 15-24 Excuses
The parable of Jesus in the Gospel today is about a man who prepared a great dinner for everyone. During the time of Jesus, one does not prepare a great banquet without sending the invitations beforehand. So to those who were invited, they were already notified prior to the dinner; however, they changed their plans when the summons at the time of the dinner came.
The excuses of the guests may be legitimate. During Jesus’ time, a man may be excused from military service to take care of a new house or field. It is also legitimate when a man has been recently betrothed or married (Deut 20, 5-7). But, what made the host furious is their being inconsiderate; they did not inform the host before the summons. They did not take seriously the hospitality of the host.
It is possible that what is good can distract us from God. We can be too engrossed and attached to our businesses (like a field), a new possession (like oxen and cattle), an activity or a personal concern that we do not have time for God. We miss our prayers or we are too exhausted to come to Sunday mass.
It is also possible that good relationships may take first priority over God. We can get too excited and attached to new friends that we spend more time with them, at the expense of God. Sometimes we are always with our classmates or colleagues that we take for granted other relationships especially those that sustained us all throughout our lives. Between a human relationship and God, the first thing that goes is spirituality. Think for example the times we get jealous. It takes over all of our time.
I remember a comment from a parent. Their daughter was so obsessed with her boyfriend, that she doesn’t notice them. Another said that her son has been too engrossed with his girlfriend, that he does not appreciate even the meals she cooked for him. But I heard many students say that they miss Sunday mass because they have to study.
If we like something, we will try our best to have it. If we don’t, we can formulate excuses not to have it.
But the thing is this: we lose many opportunities because we take them lightly. And many opportunities come only once. You either take it or lose it.